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Ride, Walk, or Load on the New Howard Street Near-Term Improvements

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Crosswalks at Howard Street.

Everyone who walks, bikes or drives on SoMa streets knows that we must make these streets safer. In 2018, two people were killed in traffic collisions on Howard Street. We’ve been developing the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project, which will propose long-term changes to improve safety on these streets. However, the process of designing and installing those changes will take time, meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people will continue to use Howard Street. The SFMTA’s goal is to improve street safety as quickly as possible, so it installed near-term safety improvements on Howard.

“In 2014, I authored Vision Zero to end traffic fatalities. This project, in the heart of District 6, shows a deep commitment to take high injury streets like Howard and transform them to benefit pedestrians, cyclists and drivers,” Supervisor Jane Kim said.

The Folsom-Howard Streetscape project team worked with the diverse community along Howard St. to implement steps that could be taken before the longer-term improvements are implemented. The team has met with community groups, such as the South of Market Community Action Network, United Playaz, the Westbay Filipino Multiservice Center, the San Francisco Bike Coalition and Walk SF and over 30 local businesses along Howard Street.

The new mural at the Howard Street near term improvemnets.

“We had a chance to work with the community to make Howard safer faster, and we took it.” SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin said. “We are excited to engage stakeholders about the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project's long-term changes to do even more to protect everyone that uses this important corridor.”

The project installed quick and effective near-term safety measures, including:

  • A parking-protected bikeway to separate vehicles and bicyclists and create a more predictable street for all who use it
  • Adding more time for pedestrians to cross intersections, daylighting, advanced limit lines, and high visibility crosswalks to intersections to enhance pedestrian safety
  • Increasing the number of loading zones by 78 percent on Howard to allow businesses to safely load without double parking

These changes will make it safer and more pleasant to bike, walk or load and unload on Howard.

With the near-term improvements installed, the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project will be asking for community feedback on plans for long-term improvements to both Folsom and Howard.  We will be hosting open houses January 26, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and January 30 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Give feedback on designs for the future of Folsom and Howard streets.

These proposed long-term improvements will make SoMa safer for everyone that walks, bikes, takes transit or drives and include:

  • A parking-protected bikeway with concrete buffers
  • Pedestrian safety upgrades like new signals and mid-block crossings
  • Transit-only lanes and new bus service to reduce your wait times

If approved, construction would begin in 2021.

New Howard Street Near-Term Improvements